Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Ten in the Bed - what we're reading and making

Carie, over at Space for the Butterflies, who writes beautifully about her family and her making, and always seems to put into perfect words parenting experiences and moments that ring so many bells with me, has a weekly feature that I love - What we're reading. We have a huge number of books in the house, and after 4 children I did think I was a bit of a know it all with children's books. But I have discovered some wonderful new authors, and even new books by favourite authors, from Carie's reviews. I think, because we have so many books we love already, that I'd stopped  keeping up with any new talent out there, so a fresh pair of eyes has suddenly shed a whole different light on it.

Now a children's book review isn't necessarily something that would fit with what I tend to write about here. But, it just so happens that my latest making is directly linked to 'what we're reading', so I feel I can completely legitimately write it here and link it up over at Carie's! 

It is an old favourite, rather than any wonderful new story, and I have taken lots of photos of the making but none whatsoever of the reading, or the book itself. Pretty poor review really! Here's Amazon's picture for you:

It's a book that I've read, and sung, with all the children. A very simple book, based completely on the song, but we love the song and we love the illustrations in there. The 'little one' in question has a wonderfully eclectic mix of 'toys', who share his bed and 'fall' out, one by one. Maria is possibly a little old for it in some ways now, but she was reading it to herself a couple of weeks ago, and enjoying it so beautifully that I just had to stand and watch her. When she spotted me I had to go and read it with her, and then we started talking about which animals we'd like to make up our dream 'Ten in the Bed'. The talking turned into drawing...

I was allowed to contribute a couple of the occupants of our bed - the mouse and the owl, and to help drawing a dog! So often I find that books we read lead on naturally to other areas of learning.
After we'd finished the drawing, writing and all the singing that went with it, I remembered a gorgeous little make I'd 'pinned' a while back that was very much inspired by the song - find it here. And Maria's dream ten seemed perfect to secretly turn into another Christmas present for her, especially as I could use the same basic design of the 'doll's bed rug' to create the 'bed' here.

I started out with 3 pieces of scruffy wool blanket for the bed - one for the base, a slightly smaller piece for the 'covers' and a thin strip for the 'pillow'.

The 'covers' piece, I patchworked...

It sort of changed part way through, when I remembered I wanted to 'write' on it too, so it didn't turn out anything like I'd planned, and I'm not entirely happy with my colours as a result, but I think Maria will quite like them.

The top green strip is higher than the top of the wool piece, and I folded it over the back of the 'covers' and sewed it down as part of the 'quilting' to finish that top edge.

The finished back.

The pillow had a strip double the width folded over too...

Here's the back.

So the bottom of the pillow is the neat, folded edge, and I just quilted the detail and the middle line here.

The 'base' of the bed (the largest piece of wool) just has two whole pieces of fabric and is quilted - very wonkily, it was late at night! All the edges on it are unfinished at this stage.

Once the 3 separate components are complete, it's very straightforward to put them together...

And then sew all the way round the outside 4 edges, making sure you catch all 3 layers. Then I finished those outside edges with binding as I would a normal quilt.

The covers are loose at the top to slip in any doll or animal...

And the pillow is loose at the bottom to either pad up a little or to store accessories etc...

Obviously this 'bed' is quite wide to squeeze ten into it! And the 'ten' were lots of fun to make...

The cats, a Mummy and her kitten, were possibly my favourites. I didn't try and exactly copy any of Maria's drawings, the scale was all a bit out for starters, but I did try and get a flavour of her drawing in the fabric version, and I think the cats definitely have this - although I did leave out all their claws which were in the drawing.

The owl and the mouse.

The teddy bear and 'little one', slightly Maria-ish!

Snail and ladybird.

And butterfly and dog, Maria has a larger, soft toy dog in a similar style that's pink, ('pinky dog') which is why I made this one pink.

All made from wools and all very lightly 'stuffed'.

And they all, kind of, squeeze in together..

Until, of course, one falls out...


PS Talking about 'learning', which I think I did very briefly mention way up above somewhere, Maria is pretty good on her number bonds to 10 already (possibly partly through reading this book countless times!) but don't you think this make is just a perfect way to help to put those number bonds into practice? So much sweeter than moving beads along an abacus kind of thing!


  1. This is fabulous!!!! Love it!

  2. So sweet - especially seeing all 10 of them snuggling together. :)

  3. That is one of our favorite nursery rhymes! And you just elevated it, how amazingly adorable Sally, well done. :-)

  4. Oh that's just adorable - both the book (which Kitty would love) and the come to life version! I love the owl, it's just so sweet, and the little one is definitely Maria-ish!

  5. I am completely charmed by your critters! The cats immediately caught my eye and put a smile on my face, and I kept smiling all the way through this post. Thank you!

  6. Sal this is genius! I love it.xxxx Shellx

  7. What an absolutely beautiful piece of work! Adorable X

  8. oh i would have adored this for my girl when she was younger. i remember doing the song with her over and over after the surestart and library sessions we attended.

  9. You might be qualified for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.


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